In an open prostatectomy, the prostate is removed through an incision in the lower abdomen or between the anus and scrotum. This procedure is done only in rare cases of BPH, when the prostate is very large with severe obstruction, or when other procedures cannot be performed. General or spinal anesthesia is used, and a catheter remains in place for up to seven days after the surgery. The tissue that is removed is sent to the lab to check for prostate cancer. Open prostatectomy has a higher risk of complications, such as incontinence and impotence, than other medical treatments or less invasive surgeries.